Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Lauren Lee: Windowsill

6

Lauren Lee: Windowsill

By

Sign in to view read count
Lauren Lee: Windowsill
Lauren Lee is a talented pianist and composer, and a singer with a flexibility and sense of adventure in her voice which give her music a light, optimistic feel, although repeated listening reveals it has surprising depth and complexity. She brings elements of art song into the realm of pop-jazz as if she were Meredith Monk invading a Steely Dan recording session.

The opener, "Windowsill," establishes the concept, with Lee's wordless voice drifting airily through her band's shifting tempos as they move from hushed to bouncy to strutting. In addition to that, she takes a sprightly piano solo as bassist Marcos Varela and drummer Andy O'Neill give her quietly propulsive support. On "Get Off Me" she chirps sprightly "kiss-off" lyrics over a melody which alternates subtle funk with cranky merry-go-round riffs. Brad Mulholland's soulful alto brings more grit into the mix. "So Long"'s waltz-time rhythm has a hint of John Coltrane's version of "My Favorite Things." Lee's voice happily glides over the song's melody, closely paired with the alto sax, before she goes into a passage of scat singing which bubbles like running water. This song, like many on the disc, also shows that Lee has a talent for singing long strings of words in an unbroken flow over roller-coaster melodies. Her songs almost sound like a jazz version of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Lee can be just as effective when no lyrics are involved, such as when her scatting melds together with electric piano and alto on the dreamy jazz fusion of "Aback." On "X-Berg" there is a notable section of multi-tracked wordless voices wrapping around Mulholland's piping clarinet. On "Tomorrow Is Coming" Lee's piano and voice wander abstractly along with flute and the rhythm section before her moaning resolves into a tender, urbane ballad which edges into Laura Nyro's universe. On the closing "She Who Journeys," she wordlessly babbles alongside flute, clarinet and rhythm, eventually building a relaxed foundation for Mulholland's rolling alto solo. Lee then responds to this with her own solo, playing and scatting together with an ebullient, insistent groove.

Lauren Lee's music is a distinctive blend of elements which she fits together with surprising ease. Her voice stretches effortlessly over angular, zigzagging melodies, assembled in the context of breezy original jazz songs. Her sound is fresh and distinctive.

Track Listing

Windowsil; X-Berg; Get Off Me; Peaks and Valleys; Tomorrow is Coming; So Long; Aback; She Who Journeys

Personnel

Lauren Lee
vocals

Lauren Lee: vocals, piano, rhodes; Brad Mulholland: alto sax, clarinet, flute; Marcos Varela: acoustic bass; Andy O'Neill: drums.

Album information

Title: Windowsill | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Ears And Eyes Records


< Previous
The People I Love

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Unknown Rivers
Luke Stewart Silt Trio
Life Is Funny That Way
Fay Victor / Herbie Nichols SUNG
spi​-​raling horn
Jason Stein - Marilyn Crispell - Damon Smith -...
Gravity
Eternal Triangle

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.